MLB News: Athletics' Cristian Pache Thanks Braves Fans Following Offseason Trade

Oakland Athletics outfielder Cristian Pache during spring training while a member of the Atlanta Braves
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Tristin McKinstry

The Atlanta Braves lost longtime franchise face Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason and swung a trade to get a replacement. The Braves acquired Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a package of prospects.

One of those prospects was the highly-touted outfielder Cristian Pache. The now-former Brave has commented on the trade that sent him to the West Coast.

A Good Opportunity

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Pache returned to Atlanta for the first time following the trade and spoke to reporters through an interpreter.

“I was a little bit in shock (when I was traded),” Pache told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “How could I not be? I felt sad but it was a good opportunity for me.”

Pache played in 24 regular-season games as a member of the Braves but played a more extended role in the team during the 2020 National League Championship Series following an injury to Adam Duvall. He had a homer and four RBI in that series, but the 23-year-old hit just .111 as he struggled with injuries. He went to Triple-A in May but was brought back up in October for the postseason.

"I'm Very Happy"

The Atlanta Braves celebrate winning the 2021 World Series
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Pache, along with fellow Athletic Stephen Vogt, received his World Series ring in front of the Atlanta crowd Tuesday. The 23-year-old Dominican outfielder received a nice ovation from the fans.

“I’m very happy,” Pache said. “I’ve gotten a lot of support and love from the fans. I’m very excited to be back, see my (former) teammates and get my ring.”

Unexpected Support

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Pache mentioned that he continued to receive love and support from Braves fans, especially on Twitter. It was unexpected, Pache told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but he was thankful nonetheless.

“I was surprised to continue to receive that much love from the fans,” he said. “It makes me very happy.

“I feel like I’m together with them (the fans). I love communicating with them on social media. It makes me feel like we are close.”

Support From All Angles

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On the field, it hasn't been the best of times for Pache offensively. He's currently hitting .167 with two homers and 10 RBI in 52 games. However, he still has support, both from the A's and the Braves.

“You know how hard this game is, and as a young player, the expectations that are put on you, and that you put on yourself,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “You grind and grind. You want the results so bad (you press). I think there’s some of that going on right now.

“We’ve been asked how you gauge the confidence level (of a young player). You gauge it by the effort level. He’s in there working hard. He has a great routine now. So we’ll continue to monitor that. It’s obviously performance based, but yet we’re here developing him as well. There’s a balance to it all.”

His former manager, Brian Snitker, spoke highly of the 23-year-old in return. “He’s a wonderful kid,” Snitker said. “I hope he has a great major-league career. He’s a likeable guy. Very talented, young. He has a lot of upside, still learning. I root like heck for a kid like that.”